Remember how, a few weeks ago, I wrote about not listening to a lot of post-rock/metal and then, suddenly, having the dam break and not being able to stay away from the stuff? A big reason for that has been Girih's new album, Ikigai, and its fragile expressions of forceful creative energies. Like previous works from the band, this album is somber and tender at the same time, taking the heavier tendencies of acts like Russian Circles or If These Trees Could Talk and melding them with a brittle, wild sense of fragile emotiveness that's really hard to find elsewhere. Scroll on down below to listen to the album in full and dive into Girih's vision.
For me, the stand-out track on the album has to be the fourth, "The Key". Its first segment is great but it's when the track turns in on itself right down its middle that things really get going. The twisting groove on the drums (which repeats often throughout the album and makes up what might be my favorite element of it), snare and hi-hat heavy, the ethereal guitar lines which repeat and coalesce into something greater than its part, and the eventual resolution of these elements in the track's cathartic crescendo and outro, are exquisite. They also a damn fine job of being a synecdoche for the entire album, channeling the Ars Poetic nature of this album. It clear this album is about the bursting forth of passion and emotion that go into making any art. As the band says:
Our new album, Ikigai, is about the process an artist goes through to create their respective art. There is often a misconception on what it actually takes to create art, whether that be a song, film, painting, photograph, etc. I think most of the world's best art will probably never be seen by anyone because the artist was too afraid to share it. This album is sort of a love letter to our artist friends around the world to keep creating and sharing your art. Even when there seems to be no hope left.
Ikigai releases this Friday, October 14th, via the incomparable combo of Dunk!Records and A Thousand Arms Music. Head on over to the band's Bandcamp page above to pre-order it.
Post-script: if you're looking for an even chunkier, more industrial Girih sound, check out "The Ring", one of the more vicious tracks Girih have ever released.